TORONTO, May 31, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Supporting clinicians to enhance the effective use and integration of technology in clinical practice is the objective of a new initiative launched by OntarioMD, the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) and Canada Health Infoway (Infoway).
The program follows an increased demand for EMRs in Ontario. Some 5,000 health care providers have signed up to implement one in the last two years alone.
"The clinical value associated with electronic medical record (EMR) systems is attracting large numbers of health care providers to adopt these tools," said Richard Alvarez, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway. "Ontario's Peer Leader Support Network engages clinicians who are transitioning to electronic systems with peers who have gone through the process to share lessons learned, give advice, and provide leadership and support."
As part of Infoway's clinical engagement strategy, which connects physicians, pharmacists and nurses, the pan-Canadian Clinician Peer Leader Support Network Program enables experienced peer leaders to work closely with their colleagues to help them achieve clinical value through practice and process changes during and after the adoption process.
Ontario's Peer Leader Support Network Project will foster support and mentorship to approximately 21,000 family physicians, specialists, family practice nurses, nurse practitioners and clinic managers learning to use EMRs throughout Ontario.
"Expanding the Peer Leader Program to include Nurses and Nurse Practitioners, along with Physicians and Clinic Managers in the Peer Leader team will further enhance the clinical adoption and use of EMRs in Ontario," says Brian Forster, CEO of OntarioMD.
"I want to applaud Canada Health Infoway for supporting this important collaboration between RNAO and OntarioMD. Engaging nurses along with family practice physicians and other health-care professionals will help us achieve greater adoption of electronic health records and will be of tremendous benefit to our patients," says Irmajean Bajnok, director of RNAO's Best Practice Guidelines program and leader of this initiative.
Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Infoway jointly invests with every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of information and communications technology projects in Canada. Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these secure systems will provide clinicians and patients with the information they need to better support safe care decisions and manage their own health. Accessing this vital information quickly will help foster a more modern and sustainable health care system for all Canadians.
OntarioMD is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ontario Medical Association and is funded by eHealth Ontario to work with and on behalf of physicians to leverage health information technology to meet the growing needs of patients and physicians.
OntarioMD manages Ontario's EMR Adoption Program that supports physicians throughout their transition from paper based records to electronic medical records. Support is available from the point of initial consideration through to applying for funding, selecting an EMR and optimizing patient care and practice management benefits EMRs facilitate. A team of Practice Advisors and Peer Leaders are available to help every step of the way through personal engagements, workshops and seminars. To help inform the decision making process, physicians also have access to EMR transition support tools such as the online transition support guide, peer experience videos and EMRAdvisor.ca.
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses' contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.